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David Poland

By David Poland

Top 10 Hot Button Rules of Thumb

I just ran into this list, posted somewhere 8 years ago.

There is really only one specific change. In item #2, the DVD market has changed and international has become a much more significant force. I would still say that $150m domestic is still not a blockbuster, but often the start of a road to more than $300 million in returns to the distributor and/or funders. These days, a blockbuster starts anywhere between $200m – $250 domestic, depending on expected international results. There were 11 films over $200m domestic in 2012 and 13 in 2013. And in most cases, production costs of the films in that range have gone up substantially as well.


1. Great Media Outlets’ Standards Are Less Stringent When The Subject Is Entertainment And That Sucks.

2. $150 Million Is No Longer A Blockbuster In Theatrical… But Right Now Represents The Start Of A Road To More Than $200 Million In Returns to The Studio In Most Cases Thanks To The New DVD Market And Expanded International Theatrical Market.

3. Successful Movie Advertising Sells One Idea At A Time… And There Actually Has To Be An Idea Worth Selling.

4. The Story Of The Moment Is Almost Never The Real Story.

5. There Are Very Few Journalists In Entertainment Journalism.

6. Talent Is Your Friend Until It’s Time For Talent Not To Be Your Friend.

7. Reviewing Scripts Or Test Screenings Is Selfish And Immoral… You Do Not Know What Effect Sticking Your Nose Into Process Will Have And More Often Than Not It Is Negative.

8. Opening Weekend Is Never About The Quality Of The Movie.

9. There Are Things I Know And Things I Don’t Know And Sometimes They Change.

10. Love What You Do And Do What You Love Or Get The Fuck Out.

6 Responses to “Top 10 Hot Button Rules of Thumb”

  1. berg says:

    9. There Are Things I Know And Things I Don’t Know And Sometimes They Change

    the known unknown

  2. Joe Leydon says:

    Does Rule No. 10 still apply?

  3. PcChongor says:

    11. Never Go Full Retard.

  4. cadavra says:

    12. We Don’t Talk About Fight Club.

    (Oh, hell, you knew someone was gonna say it.)

  5. Hallick says:

    I think rule number six goes to the emperor’s new tailor, but I’ve been wrong in the past. Could you please expand on rule #6?

  6. Bob Burns says:

    sadly, scarily, rule #1 isn’t true…..

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